Saturday, July 6, 2024

A Long Overdue Catch Up


   Well here I am again, after another long break from blogging.  Just when I thought we could breathe again, we had more horse poo thrown our way.  UGH!  After nearly a month of sitting down at the dealership, and several days AFTER we were supposed to go to Utah, we finally found out that there was nothing that could be done about our car since it was not throwing a code.  They told us to just drive it until the transmission goes out and then it could be replaced under warranty. I was seriously ticked off since we had to cancel our trip to see our son Josh and family, and the hotel I booked was nonrefundable.  So we did not get to see our youngest grandkids, I am out over $100 and my car transmission is still acting up. Oh, and did I forget to mention that we ended up owing the IRS about $1,400 dollars? tightening our frugal belts is beyond needed at this point.  On another note, my computer is not uploading photos from my memory card from the camera.  Therefore, there are no photos to share at the moment unless I figure something out.  

   Sadly, we also lost another dear friend to cancer.  He had been fighting it for years and would go into remission and then it would come roaring back.  This last time, it ravaged his body, and he could no longer fight it.  Tyke was an amazing, kind and loving husband, father, papa, and friend.  He married one of my best friends, Robyn, and I was part of their wedding party, and she was part of mine.  We remained close over all these years and celebrated family weddings, births of grandchildren and I became very close with two of their daughters.  One of their granddaughters is also a friend of our grandson Steven and they are in the same class at school.  Jeff and I went to Tyke's funeral and saw so many old friends there that I had not seen since graduating from college.  It really is sad that the only time you see old friends is at weddings and funerals. 😢Tyke will be dearly missed by so many people that loved him.

   With everything that has happened, I am just exhausted.  I feel like every time I think I can start to breathe again, something happens to knock the wind right out of me.  With the heat of the summer hitting, I am also feeling the effects of that on my body and it is no joke.  Fibromyalgia is kicking my behind and I am doing all I can to just try to stay cool at the moment.  At least this part is something that I experience every year so I know how it will affect me.  

   Okay, enough of the bad stuff, let's try to turn our focus to the things that Jeff and I have been trying to do to save money and some of the good deals we have found lately.  Sound good?  

~Jeff and I dug up 2 of the volunteer potato plants in one of the garden beds.  They were getting to be way too big for the space that we needed for other things, so out the came.  We got about 2 pounds of small all purple potatoes.  Hey, I'll take that. 😉

~Before the heat really set in, we were harvesting lots of lettuce and some of the smaller spinach before it went to bolt. We also were harvesting strawberries (and still are), so I was enjoying fresh salads with strawberries and balsamic vinegar salad dressings.  Pure bliss!

~Our raspberry plants are starting to produce, much to mine and Shannon's delight.  Yes, I had been sharing with her.

~Jeff and I harvested all the bok choi and the huge spinach plants.  I blanched and froze 5 bags of bok choi and 3 bags of spinach.

~Safeway had an amazing deal on steaks, so I bought a package of 4 and froze 2 of them for a future meal.  I also found some round steak marked down to half price, so I cut that in half and then froze both halves.

~With the 2 steaks that I kept out, Jeff grilled them and I served them with a nice salad, corn on the cob and rice pilaf.  Oh my goodness, it was delicious and a real treat!  We decided that it was my early birthday dinner.  

~I found a small cheesecake and some donuts marked down.  You know those came home with us too.

~I had been looking for another clothes basket and some shade cloth.  I found a collapsing laundry basket and a shade sail at Goodwill.  Jeff found something he wanted while we were there and I also found a beautiful Lenox bowl that retails for $32...I paid $3.99 for it, and I found a DVD that I had been looking for.

~Jeff had been given a $25 gift card for selling a large amount of Trex decking at work.  We used that card to go out to eat at one of our favorite burger places (this is what Jeff wanted to use the card for).  It ended up being free for us since we used the card and we still have some money left on the card too.

~We finally got everything from inside the greenhouse planted.  We will have tomatoes coming out our ears when they all start coming in.  I have about 49 plants.

~I noticed that I have a tiny yellow squash forming on one of my squash plants.  I am beyond excited!

~Meal planning and cooking ahead have definitely become a need, especially with the heat and the fact that we are living on a very tight budget since we owe the IRS money and that took a good part of our monthly income.  

~I used up some of the random leftover pasta from other meals and made a big tuna pasta salad with veggies in it.  I did this twice within the past few weeks and it fed us for several meals.

~Grocery Outlet had their fresh family sized pastas on sale.  I had been buying them and freezing at least one package and then cooking up the other.  I also found coleslaw mix marked down to .49 a bag, so I bought 2 of them.  One bag was made into coleslaw, and the other was used in Yaki Soba.

~We have been watering the gardens in the evening so that the water does not evaporate so quickly.

~I have been having some computer issues and our neighbor was able to help me trouble shoot what was going on and how to work around it.

~I continue to feed the hummingbirds with homemade hummingbird food and I try to keep the front birdbath full of water for them too.

~Jeff and I went to an estate sale on the 2nd day of it when they were willing to make good deals on things.  I found a set of 6 really well-made outdoor chairs with cushions and got them for $30 for all of them!  Jeff and I are giving the ones that came with our table to Chris and Heather and are now using the ones we got at the sale out on our back screened in porch.  I also found some good cookbooks and food storage books there, along with a beautiful painting.

~Jaysn came over and helped us rearrange our living room since Jeff's neck had been bothering him and he wanted to move the recliner to a different spot so he did not have to turn his neck as much. Jaysn ended up taking us into the ready care clinic since Jeff's neck kept getting worse.  They did not take our insurance but finding out what was going on with Jeff's neck and getting him some relief was worth it.  He had strained a neck muscle so he got a shot and then started taking muscle relaxers to help it heal.  We are so grateful to Jaysn for dropping his plans for the day and taking care of us.  We did take him out to lunch as a thank you.

~Jaysn and Rachel picked up 2 more bags of tortilla chips from Costco for us.  It's nice that our kids have Costco cards and can pick things up there for us.

~I am keeping the bamboo sun shades down on the back porch to keep the sun from heating that space up so quickly and it also helps to keep the house cooler.

~We finally were able to take the 3 older grandboys to the trampoline place.  It was part of their Christmas present.  Since Heather is a first responder, we got them in for half price.  After they bounced for an hour, we went to a park for a picnic and Rachel joined us there after she got off work.

~Jeff and I cut each other's hair.

~We finally got new neighbors in Uncle Bob's old house.  They are a really nice young couple who are expecting their first child in August.  We are giving them our pack and play that we no longer need, along with our stroller and, if they want, our highchair. 

~The 4th of July fireworks were absolutely amazing in our small town this year and we enjoyed watching everyone's display that we did not have to pay for. Jeff and I both commented of how much money must have been spent collectively in our town on all the fireworks that literally go up in smoke.

   That is about all I can remember about the frugal doings lately.  We still have a long list of things that we want to get done that will save us more time and money.  Jeff is off until next Friday, so I am hoping to get a few more big projects done around here.  Be blessed my sweet friends.




  1. Honey I'm so sorry for all you guys have gone through lately.
    It seems so overwhelming at times .
    I have ended up with two admissions to the hospital,having to be transported by rescue to different hospitals in two different cities.
    My husband's transmission died while he was out of town leaving him stranded
    For 18 hours in a parking lot. Waiting for AAA to come tow him.
    They never did come get him.
    My car died ,it was older too. Our riding mower got destroyed by squirrels
    Ripping wiring out and eating it .
    So we had to buy a new riding mower.
    We had to replace our cars with decent used ones.
    Finding anything reasonably priced was rough but God provided.
    This last week we were heating up lunch andy microwave died,it's less than a year old. My husband took it apart then went to home Depot for a fuse to replace a burned out one. While he was in home Depot my AC
    Started to make a horrible noise. I shut it off and called him.
    He said he'd look at it when he got back..
    When he arrived home our electric gate stopped working.
    He came in the house put the microwave back together.
    Then he worked on the AC and got it working again . We had to have the unit serviced the next day.
    Then he fixed the gate opener.All that was on Tuesday!
    We got up on Thursday and our well pump broke down.
    He fixed it so we had water. But we need a new tank. Cost $1400.00.
    Today is only July 6th! I am anxious for what the rest of July will bring.

    1. Oh my goodness, you all have been through the wringer. I am so very sorry. Thank goodness your hubby is so handy and was able to get things fixed, at least for now. Praying for you.

  2. I am so sorry for your car troubles and having to cancel your trip. What a disappointment. For me - emotional stress really pushes me into a flare. Take good and kind care of yourself.

    Gardens are like growing your own money. I read that today somewhere so it's not original to me. I have two little tomatoes plants and my chard going. One slicer tomato and flowers that won't set. And some cherry tomatoes and more flowers there. On the plus side - one lady at the dog park keeps bringing her excess -- zuchini and tomatoes so far. And the main building kitchen keeps putting out extras that they get. Last week it was a case each of grapes and red apples. I shared with the dog park people since no one but me was taking the produce.

    I also found our newly reopened senior center is offering free lunches Monday to Friday. I haven't gone in yet but did pickup the menu. I need to see if I can just grab a meal and come home with it. Sitting to eat the meal there and interacting with people is just too much for me right now.

    The heat has come on for real. Triple digits going into TripleTeens. Oh ick. But my AC is working and I hope I've budgeted for the bill. Also found a new program with the electric company that I signed up for and will reduce my bill. This program is based on income and I qualify. The other program I'm in is due to my medical issues.

    Will close here. So happy to see your post. Think of you and pray for you often. SJ now in California

    1. ((((((HUGS))))) Praying for you my friend as you deal with your flares. It is sure nice of you to share that produce with your friends at the dog park...I'm sure they all feel so blessed by you. If you can do a grab and go meal from the senior center that would be great. We have a senior lunch here once a month and I, like you, just can't do that many people right now.

      Much love to you and puppy girl!

    2. It has been fun to share the produce -- this week it was white and red onions, baby cucumbers, red potatoes and red and orange sweet peppers. And a bunch of bakeries. Two ladies from the park took some. And I guess I was a trend setter - a different lady brought her excess tomatoes yesterday. I'm enjoying life here- even with the high heat. I just got my electric bill -- wow!! So I'm now going to start a much needed "Pantry challenge" and try not to go to the grocery store the rest of the month. Puppygirl will be 3yo in September and is just now really getting the idea of being on a leash and sitting nicely when I'm talking with someone. Hope you are taking good care of yourself. cheers,SJ

  3. You've certainly had a lot on your plate! I hope the rest of the month will go well without any major upsets.

    1. Thank you Bless. I'm sticking pretty close to home for the moment. ((((HUGS)))))

  4. I'm sorry life has smacked the crap out of you lately. My budget keeps taking hit after hit too. Car, house, you name it. I hope your hubby's neck gets better and your troubles floar away!

    1. Awww thank you Barbara. Sorry you are dealing with taking hits on your budget also. Praying for you.


Thank you for taking time to comment on my blog posts. I really appreciate it and being able to get to know you through your comments. I hope you have a wonderful day!